This really bothers me:
The Obama administration is holding out for an extension of unemployment assistance and of a variety of expiring tax breaks for low-wage and middle-income workers as part of a deal with Congressional Republicans to extend all the Bush-era tax cuts.
But it is unclear how much leverage the White House has in the tax negotiations, given the drubbing Democrats took in the midterm elections, the tight Congressional calendar and a threat by Senate Republicans to block any legislation until the tax fight is resolved.
If you let the Bush era tax cuts continue for the richest of the rich, you are basically ceding the argument to Republicans. I can understand wanting to do everything you can to get unemployment benefits extended, but Democrats just can not afford to lose this argument. For starters, they are right. The Bush tax cuts for the rich did nothing to create job growth, did nothing for the economy, and did nothing but increase the deficit. Giving in on the tax cuts for the rich would allow the Republicans to claim that for the past decade, every time this argument was had, they were right. It would change the dynamic for every negotiation in the future, because it would mean that whenever we discuss the deficit, tax cuts would be off the table because it is a “fact” that tax cuts create jobs.
Dems just can not cave on this issue. This goes beyond just a short term political loss, and goes to core differences between the parties.